With their recent run of success, the Eagles have become a premier destination for most players, and it appears they’ve caught the eye of an old rival.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Ezekiel Elliott, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys listed week, had the Eagles, Jets, and Bengals as his preferred destinations.
Schefter’s tweet initially made it seem like the Eagles had contacted Elliott and were in ongoing talks with him. However, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark later reported that the Eagles had no discussions with the 27-year-old, and that the team is “happy with the running backs they have now.”
I’m told as of right now the Eagles have not engaged in conversations with Ezekiel Elliott about joining the team and are happy with the running backs they have right now.
It seems the Eagles, Bengals, Jets are a wish list for Ezekiel Elliott and where he would like to play. pic.twitter.com/p6eZbZQBKA
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) March 23, 2023
It seems as though that’s the case with the Jets and Bengals as well, with the Jets’ RBs making (now deleted) dismissive tweets and Cincinnati head coach Zach Taylor laughing the situation off.
Eagles link could be a way to drum up interest for Zeke
For Zeke, drumming up interest and activity in free agency couldn’t hurt. The running back is coming off a season where he only rushed for 876 in 15 games with 12 touchdowns.
Obviously solid numbers, but it’s the lowest season rushing total of his career, and he made 231 rushing attempts, bringing his total up to 712 over the last three seasons. Considering he’s entering his late twenties, that adds up to a potential quick drop-off.
By connecting himself with these teams, perhaps Zeke and his agent were trying to get teams that aren’t so star-studded to up potential offers. Of course, Elliott could also genuinely want to go to these teams and might be trying to start the conversation himself.
After all, the Eagles offer him a win-now opportunity, the league’s best offensive line, and the chance to play the Cowboys twice a year in revenge games. It’s hard not to see why this would be a top destination for him.
For Philadelphia, Zeke may be interesting as a one-year stop-gap if they don’t find a back they like in the draft, but signing him for multiple years carries heavy risk. If that’s the kind of contract he’s looking for, passing is a no-brainer.